Officials representing the United States, Russia, and three other former Soviet republics gathered in Moscow on May 21 to commemorate the end of inspections under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Inspections under the U.S.-Soviet-negotiated agreement are due to wrap up May 31, exactly 13 years after the landmark treaty entered into force.
The INF Treaty signed in December 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, prohibits the development, production, and deployment of all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. In order to enforce the agreement's stringent provisions, unprecedented verification measures were negotiated, including both on-site inspections and continuous monitoring at designated facilities.
The United States and Russia maintained inspectors at each other's missile assembly plants in order to ensure that missiles were not being constructed in violation of the treaty's terms. The Russian inspectors are due to depart the U. …